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Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Growing up with an asthmatic mother who was allergic to anything with fur meant only one thing to me as a child- no pets. So I adapted. We had outdoor cats to catch the mice around our rural home. We had the occasional fish, which always, I might add, went belly-up soon after adoption. In middle school I became interested in herpetology- or the study of reptiles and amphibians- much to my parents' chagrin. I wanted a snake for a pet, and they humored me by enrolling me in a 4H club, hoping, I'm sure, that I would change my mind.

A number of months later, though, we had acquired a new family member. A baby boa constrictor, about one foot long, found its home within a nice terrarium in our playroom. I was fascinated when it ate, took it out to slither around on the floor on occasion, and collected its skin when it shed.

How did it know when it was time to shed? From my perspective I could see its scales begin to flake around the edges and its eyes cloud over. But did the snake know for the tightness, discomfort and inability to see clearly that it was time to rid itself of the old skin holding it back, and finally have room to grow?

In her book, Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, chronicles a seaside trip she took to enjoy a brief respite from the chaos and busyness of her life with a husband and five children. She beautifully expresses with love and grace the difficulties of life as a woman surrounded by people who need her morning, noon and night, and how she often feels drained and unable to fully meet the demands of her daily tasks.

She analyzes, and compares herself to, shells she finds along the beach.

"I mean to lead a simple life, to choose a simple shell I can carry easily- like a hermit crab. But I do not. I find that my frame of life does not foster simplicity. My husband and five children must make their way in the world. The life I have chosen as wife and mother entrains a whole caravan of complications."

What follows this quote is a searching.

A searching for ways to simplify, to bring peace, to those things in our lives that blur our vision. Like the snake, when we sense the tightening, the dryness, the inability to find clarity in our day to day living, we should realize that there's something weighing us down, clouding our view, denying us the blessings God wishes to give.

Shedding is not an easy process. Shedding requires work, time and friction, just as a snake has to rub against rocks or bark. But worthwhile pursuits in life often are not free. The cumbersome burdens we shoulder could be activities (even "good" ones), character traits, physical possessions. We live in a society where more is more, and striving for "less" is like swimming upstream. But as Anne Morrow Lindbergh asks, "How little, not how much, can I get along with?" What freedom it must be to take our families under our wings and teach them simplicity and peace, rather than hurriedness and stress.

My grace is sufficient for you

2 Cor 12:9

Are there things in your life that are weighing you down?

Imagine what it would feel like to shed them. Write down 3 things you feel you need to rid yourself of and work toward this goal.

Christine can be found daily at her personal blog:

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Blogger christy rose said...

The unnecessary weight of the world to stay up with everyone in every way is the enemy's way of keeping our focus off of the completeness that Jesus bought and paid for us to have in Him. That revelation can help us to shed his load that he puts on us and live a simpler more enjoyable life.

This was a great post and devotion to start my day.

May 5, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad I stopped by and added the cafe to my blogroll. I will pass this link on to my sis, who may enjoy the book you mentioned.

May 5, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Awesome, be blessed.

May 5, 2009 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger tikno said...

Thank for this post which it provide the inspiration.

May 5, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Iris said...

I have a very old copy of her book, loved it read it many times. Being surrounded by ocean I have often thought our lives can also comapre to the Sea shelled creatures that abound in the Atlantic Ocean. When they "molt" they have to find a very safe place of shelter for they are very succulant and desireable food for anything that can find them at that point. It is a dangerous yet ever so necessary time in it's life. They have to molt to continue their life cycle. Their shells impede their physical growth otherwise.
So must we molt the stuff that wants to keep us in one place dealing with only this much of our lives spiritual or otherwise. Molting is the excellent way to change and grow if you are a shelled creature.
There in lies my thought many times I need to molt to become more of what I am suppose to be.
Thanks for the thoughts to focus us today.

May 6, 2009 at 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Christine Smith said...

I enjoy the concept of shedding, it reminds me of who we are inside. I look like a blonde California Mom driving a Honda minivan, but that's only my "skin." If you have a chance to look inside and talk with me at women's Bible study, you find a child of God, in love with her Daddy. You'd never know this looking at my "skin."

On the internet, we don't have skins. We're identified by our personalities and writing, not by what we have or how we look. I think this explains why this media is so popular.

May 6, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

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